I like to think I’m a bit of a bright spark (buckle up for a load of light bulb themed puns – I’m not sorry!), especially when it comes to money.
I’ll switch banks to make sure I have the best rates, energy providers to get the cheapest bills, and spend hours researching ways to make and save a few quid.
However, sometimes you can miss obvious savings – keeping you in the dark – because the change seems complicated or not worth the effort.
I can see why you’d think that changing a light bulb isn’t going to be life-changing. Because most of us don’t know how much it costs to turn on a lamp or leave a night light on overnight – we distance ourself from the costs.
But the reality is you can save HUNDREDS of pounds by making the switch to energy-efficient lights – AND in the long-run, it’s not going to cost you any more money.
What are energy efficient lights?
It’s confusing right? CFLs, LEFS, OMG, IDK. Ha!
Seriously though, according to a survey by Arlington Research, one in five of us expect to find it difficult to find the lightbulb they want or need, while 42% of people have actually forked out for a lightbulb which didn’t fit.
But there are two types of energy efficient light bulbs in the UK as it stands. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). I was initially confused by the word ‘lamps’ but no – they don’t mean actual lamp, it’s just a light bulb.
I was initially confused by the word ‘lamps’ on the website (as in, are they actually lamps?) but no – it’s just a technical term for a light bulb.
Anyway, both of these light bulb types are cost-effective and better for the environment (if that’s your thing) than using the standard light bulb.
So how much can you save?
So according to OSRAM, you can save around £13 (15 euros) a year with one LED lamp – which if right, the savings themselves actually cover the cost of the light bulb within a couple of months.
What’s also good, that a LED light lasts a lot longer than a conventional light bulb, so you don’t’ have to keep replacing them.
What you need to know
When you think about light bulbs – the term Watts come to mind (not that I know what a watt means!), however, these days it’s all about the lumens.
There’s a little trick to it though. Let’s say you like 60 or 100W bulbs (which is pretty standard. To get the same light you just times by 100 to get the lumen number you need.
You may not realise this, but light bulbs come in different colours (and no, I don’t mean red).
Light temperature (which means colour) is actually measured in Kelvin (K). The lower the number, the warmer the light.
A candle is about 1,500k (which is quite a warm glow) while daylight is much colder at above 5,000k. Most people tend to stick to 2,7000 or warm white which is the colour of an old fashioned light.
When it comes to bulbs, you don’t pick a bulb in the shape you like because it pleased the eye (although those big exposed bulbs are all the rage these days). The design of the bulb determines what direction the light goes.
So for one on the ceiling, you want the light to reach as much of the room as possible, so you’d stick to a standard shape bulb or a spiral. For a lamp, candle shapes fit well – do your research before you settle on a shape
This sounds a bit more complicated than it is, because even though there are hundreds of different light fittings in the world – your house probably only has two or three (unless you live in some sort of fancy Grand Designs house).
Odds are you have ones with ‘B’ on there which stand or Bayonet – as these are the most common ones. There are also E and GU.
OSRAM and the challenge
The supplier of OSRAM – LEDVANCE is a world leader in innovative lighting products. It specialises in tailor made innovative lighting technologies and lighting solutions and seriously knows its stuff.
LEDVANCE actually is running a campaign which is focused on helping people to clear up the confusion around lightbulbs and lighting so challenged me to see if I could save money switching.
I’ve got an energy monitor (seriously, it’s the ideal present for dads who are constantly turning the lights off and complaining about bills) and I’ve measured one week’s worth of energy consumption.
I live in a one- bed flat but work from home, so have no real idea how much I use, and how much can be saved.
With the help of my boyfriend (because I’m not climbing up ladders!), we’ve chosen the lights bulbs we need (I like quite a warm light – though I think modern houses suit colder lights) and switched all the lights to OSRAM light bulbs and have plugged the energy monitor in.
What do you reckon? How much do you think I’ll save – if anything at all? I’ll write an update in the next few days.